KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

Cass County Extension Report 06-06-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 6th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

EPA says farmland flyovers are hunting for Clean Water Act violators

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Concerns are being raised after the U-S Environmental Protection Agency announced it’s using airplanes to conduct fly-over inspections of large-scale livestock lots in Iowa and Nebraska. Josh Svaty, the E-P-A Region 7 Senior Advisor, says they are focusing on livestock operations that may be violating Clean Water Act regulations. Svaty says, “We don’t want to bother the people that are doing their very best and are in complete compliance but there are hundreds of animal feeding operations in these impaired watersheds and this enables us to more easily find some of the ones that might need a little more attention from us than others.” He says it saves taxpayer dollars to use the aircraft to so this type of surveillance versus driving up and down hundreds of miles of rural roadways to do spot checks of farmers and ranchers.

“Most of them are in compliance and are doing just fine,” Svaty says. “Some of the larger feedlots, in fact, some of them that we’ve worked with in the past, we’ve noticed have made significant, substantial improvements over the years.” The practice is raising concerns from livestock producers and legislators. Members of the Nebraska Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, asking for answers to those concerns by June 10th. Svaty says the EPA only takes still photographs and they avoid houses. He says Nebraska’s Farm Service Agency has been doing compliance flyovers since the 1980s so it isn’t a new concept. Iowa U-S Senator Chuck Grassley says he’ll likely join the Nebraskans in asking for more answers from the EPA.

“I’ll probably sign the letter without any insinuation that anything’s wrong but I sure have a right to know what in the heck they’re doing and what they’re up to,” Grassley says. “I’m more interested in that. Transparency will bring some accountability.” The Nebraska delegation is asking how many flights have been conducted and what statutes authorize aerial surveillance inspections. The delegation also wants to know if the EPA conducted such flights prior to 2010. It asks what images are made, how they are used and how long they are kept. Grassley says this type of flight is nothing new. “Going back to the 1930s and ’40s, we’ve had airplanes fly over farmland in Iowa and take pictures and all of the work at the county offices where measuring fields was done from the photographs that airplanes were taking at that particular time,” Grassley says. “If that’s what they’re up to, we’ve been involved with that for 60 years but I wanna’ know what they’re up to.”

The letter to the head of the EPA notes that farmers and ranchers pride themselves in the stewardship of natural resources, saying, “As you might imagine, this practice (of flyovers) has resulted in privacy concerns among our constituents and raises several questions.” Grassley says the EPA needs to be more upfront.
“Whatever the federal government’s doing, observing on private land, the public has a right to know,” Grassley says. “You’ve also got to remember though that out in California, they use a lot of airplanes to take pictures to see where people are violating the laws by growing marijuana.” Grassley, a Republican, says all farmers know they have to abide by the Clean Water Act. “I don’t think it’s very easy to cover up if you’re killing fish that you’re violating.”

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa gets rain but needs more

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Much of Iowa has received some rain, but the state could use some more to help ease the dry spots.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s crop report that corn conditions declined slightly for the second consecutive week. The report shows 75 percent of the corn is rated good to excellent. That’s down from 77 percent a week ago and 81 percent two weeks ago. The first soybean rating puts the crop at 71 percent in good to excellent condition.  The USDA says 46 percent of Iowa’s topsoil and 45 percent of the subsoil is dry.  Last week’s rain totals ranged from 0.35 inches at Bloomfield to 3.7 inches at Akron. The statewide average was 0.84 inches. In Atlantic, rainfall from May 27th through June 2nd amounted to .43″.

Lab: Iowa egg company warned of salmonella in hens

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Records show an Iowa State University scientist found evidence sick hens at farms owned by an Iowa egg producer were “almost certainly” laying eggs contaminated with salmonella months before one of the nation’s largest outbreaks of food-borne illness. Testing records filed as part of a civil lawsuit show scientists at ISU’s Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory found salmonella in manure at several Iowa egg-laying plants and in the internal organs of dead birds in the months before the August 2010 recall of 550 million eggs.

The laboratory reported the results to the company requesting tests, but scientists say they had no legal or ethical obligation to alert regulators or consumers since salmonella is not a reportable disease. Lab director Rodger Main says it was up to the company to take appropriate action.

Iowa farmers sign up nearly 100,000 acres into CRP


June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farmers have agreed to put nearly 100,000 acres of land into the government’s Conservation Reserve Program. The Iowa Farm Service agency says 99,684 acres were accepted into the program during the general signup period. The CRP preserves land prone to erosion and reduces runoff of fertilizers and other chemicals into streams and rivers. The program also helps establish habitat for wildlife. 
Farmers are paid to set aside the land and not use it for crops.  At the end of last year 1.7 million acres of Iowa farmland was enrolled resulting in payments to farmers of nearly $213 million.  The USDA says farmers enrolled 3.9 million acres into CRP this year nationally during general signup. A total of 29.6 million acres of farmland is enrolled.

Iowa farm broadcaster Pearson dies at home


June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

EAST PERU, Iowa (AP) – Well-known farm news broadcaster Mark Pearson has died at his home in Madison County. Chief Deputy Jason Barnes of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department told The Des Moines Register that Pearson died Sunday at his farm home near East Peru of an apparent heart attack.  The 54-year-old Pearson was host of the “Market to Market” program on Iowa Public Television and co-hosted a program about agricultural news on WHO-AM radio.Pearson had worked as assistant secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

Feet of sand leave farms wasteland after flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) — Hundreds of farmers in Iowa and Nebraska are still struggling to remove sand and fill holes gouged by the Missouri River, which swelled last summer with rain and snowmelt and overflowed onto thousands of acres of farmland. While the river flooded parts of Montana, the Dakotas, Kansas and Missouri, the worst damage was in Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa farmer Mason Hansen has been working for months to clear his property, but about 160 acres still look like a desert, with sand piled up to 4 feet high. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved more than $20 million in disaster aid to help Iowa and Nebraska farmers with the cost of moving sand, grading land and filling holes. But most farmers say that will cover only part of their costs.

2 bulls in SW Iowa test positive for venereal disease

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Friday, said that two bulls in southwest Iowa have tested positive for trichomoniasis (trik-uh-muh-NEYE’-uh-sis), a venereal disease in cattle.  The facility itself was not identified. Bovine trichomoniasis is a reportable disease in Iowa.  There are no clinical signs of illness in the bulls, but it can be spread to cows and causes infertility. Farmers buying bulls are encouraged to make sure the animals are tested for the disease before being introduced into the herd or to purchase virgin bulls. The Department has issued an order of quarantine for the facility where the disease was found.  The quarantine will remain in place until further testing confirms the disease is no longer present in the herd. This is the first known case of the disease in Iowa but there have been more than 200 cases in Missouri.

Summer Pest making the season’s 1st appearance at Carter Lake

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Swimmer’s itch is starting to make its presence known to swimmers at Carter Lake near Council Bluffs. The good news is that parasitic little pest that can cause welts and itching, only lasts a few weeks and is not life-threatening. The condition is caused by flatworms, a parasite.

The flatworm eggs are transferred to water by bird droppings. The eggs hatch and infect snails, from which the free swimming form of the flatworm larvae emerges. In the absence of a suitable host such as a bird, the parasite will attempt to penetrate the skin of humans, and quickly dies after that, causing an allergic reaction below the skin resulting in welts and itching.

Officials say the symptoms are not life threatening and generally disappear within a few days. An antihistamine along with calamine lotion can be used to treat the affected areas. Swimmer’s itch is most prevalent along beaches pounded by waves.

Officials say the most preventive measure is to reduce the amount of time in the water and to quickly dry off when getting out of the lake. For more information on swimmer’s itch visit the following websites:



USDA Report 05-31-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 31st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York